Health regimens and New Year’s resolutions with Art Alexakis from Everclear
“Santa Monica,” “I Will Buy You a New Life,” and “Father of Mine” were just some of the Everclear songs regularly flipped on my cassette deck in the 90s. Back then I never would’ve guessed that 15 years later, I’d be sitting across from the hit maker himself, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis.
Honolulu is a regular stop for Alexakis and the rest of the band as they return for the 3rd Annual Rock Against Cancer Benefit Concert. The festival-style event raises funds for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research.
With a hectic concert and acting schedule, Alexakis was willing to share how he stays in shape in the midst of it all:
“When I’m home, my family and I always try to eat healthy. We try to stay away from a lot of carbs – breads and stuff like that. We treat on the weekends but we try to stay away from anything processed. We try to eat smaller portions and more vegetables. I lost 30 pounds last year, just doing that and keeping my Starbucks down to just 2 a week… sorry Starbucks.”
Since we’re closing in on the end of 2013, I also asked Alexakis if he believes in New Year’s resolutions:
“I do. I’ve actually only made a few of them and I’ve kept them all. This year my resolution was to get my feet done. There’s a genetic thing that I got from my mom and I felt I need to get this done.”
Alexakis was referring to a surgery he recently had for his bunion. He joked about how people lightly address the problem, as if it’s something that is simply scraped off. But as he so eloquently described it:
“They actually cut a big piece of your toe off and then screwed them together.”
He admits that healing from the surgery is keeping him from this other regular activities for staying in shape, which is swimming 2-3 times a week and a half hour of yoga everyday.
It can be challenging to stay the course on your health regimen, especially during the holidays. However is there is a carrot on the end of the stick here, it is to look and feel great. Even Alexakis set his humbleness aside to say, “For a 51 year old guy, I think I look pretty good.”
Bought a watermelon slicer this weekend. It makes serving healthy snacks quick and easy. Plus it’s a nice little workout to get the slicer all the way down the watermelon.
My garden’s first harvest of Hawaiian chili peppers, coming soon!
Celebrating Movember with Frank Trigg
Movember is an annual event where mustaches are grown during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health. As a husband and father, I realize the importance of men to remain healthy in order to provide for our families.
In celebration of the cause, I have been nurturing the stubble above my upper lip for 8 days now. What’s fun about the initial period of Movember is that it’s easy to spot fellow Movember men. I’ve been striking up conversations with stubbly supporters from all walks of life.
With the help of Universal Men’s Clinic, I was able to meet with one of the more manly mustached Movember participants. Frank Trigg is a mixed martial arts fighter, also having lent his talents to television commentating and pro wrestling. He also focuses on his health to be alert for his family. I asked him if he had some health advice for those of us who won’t be entering the octagon anytime soon:
First thing is to get a gallon of water in you everyday. This is on top of the tea, pop and other things you’re drinking. The second thing you can do is stop drinking the pop and the soda. The diet [beverages] is bad for you. One of the biggest things I try to do now is try not to eat out too much. Because no matter where you go, no matter how good the food is, it’s got extra stuff in it – like butter and oils. So I try to stay in and eat all my food in the house.
The other thing that I do a lot of – it’s very difficult to do, especially because I travel so much for work – is try to get 25 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. For breakfast you basically have an omelet that’s more vegetables than egg. Then for lunch you have a huge salad with a little bit of protein on it. Then for dinner you have another huge salad with a little bit of protein on it. Look at what the serving size is for a half-cup of uncooked spinach. It’s like, 4 leaves. It’s not that much but you try to get 25 servings of that in. To me, it’s made a huge difference in how my body works, how it digests and how I move around. I’m not going to lie. I have a huge sweet tooth. I’m a big fall guy, I love pumpkin so when I was at my friend’s house last night, I had a piece of pumpkin cheesecake and went back for seconds. You have to weigh and balance. You need to live and be happy about your life because if you’re not happy about how you eat, you’re not going to want to do it.
So for anybody starting out [on living healthy] get more water, fruits and vegetables in your diet – even if you don’t like them. I know it’s tough but you have to get them in there and still have fun with it. Still enjoy desserts and still enjoy a glass of wine or beer now and again if that’s what you have but try to do everything in moderation as opposed to excess.
It’s time for a radish harvest!
Found out about health: Exercise with the Gin Blossoms
Image courtesy of merrick music group, inc.
The music of the Gin Blossoms has been with me for over half of my life. As I walked through the halls in high school and later road tripped back and forth across the country in my 20s, their tunes have been a mainstay in my life’s soundtrack. I was delighted to hear the news about the band reuniting back in 2002 and then finally doing a performance in Honolulu this month.
I recently spoke with Gin Blossoms guitarist, Jesse Valenzuela about his upcoming trip to Honolulu. While he’s excited to see his family here, he won’t be able to stay long. The band is scheduled to meet up with Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth just two days after their stop in the islands. With such a rigorous touring schedule at the age of 51, I asked him how he looks after his health:
“I walk everyday. What I like to do is walk about 2 miles everyday. I hit the park and I listen to a podcast or something. I find it’s really enjoyable and you know what? If I don’t do it, I feel a little weird. But I think it’s good for my psyche and it’s good for my physical health too.”
As an artist (mind you, a much less successful one), I can relate to the wonders of going for a walk. It’s a chance to avoid distraction and play with ideas while getting the heart rate up. When I think of exercise, my mind automatically thinks burpees or swinging the kettlebell and if my energy is low, I put off exercising all together. However Valenzuela’s routine is a reminder that exercise doesn’t have to always be strenuous. If you’re not up for sweating buckets that day, at least go for a stroll. It’s better than staying on the couch.
I’m already mentally assembling my evening walk playlist and you can bet there are a few tunes from the Gin Blossoms.
Pesto - courtesy of basil leaves from my garden.
Fit for Season Four: A red carpet interview with Hawaii Five-0’s Michelle Borth
Michelle Borth became a regular cast member of the CBS television series Hawaii Five-0 last year and has been delighting fans ever since. I was able to catch up with her on the red carpet last night and she briefly shared how she kept in shape for season four.
“They kick my [rear] with all these action scenes, so I don’t really have a choice.”
While she didn’t site any specific methods of keeping fit, “more action” was the common theme between all of the cast interviews on the red carpet. Which perhaps may be the reason why we were treated to a very svelte-looking cast last night. Even Chi McBride looked like he dropped a few pounds.
When talking to Borth about what to expect from her character in this fourth season, she drew some parallels to what she’s experiencing in her own life. In Hawaii Five-0, her character leaves the Navy and now must find herself again. Similarly, she is faced with fish-out-of-water challenges in her personal life. In her journey of coming to Hawaii, she also finds it difficult with everything and everyone she knows being on the mainland. She said that she’s going through her own personal self-discovery as she starts life all over again in the islands. However she shared how the people here have made it easier:
“Everyone has been so warm and welcoming. I feel very comfortable here.”
This weekend I welcomed some cilantro seedlings to my garden.
They took a few weeks to germinate but my seedlings are finally popping through! I made these seedling cups out of empty toilet paper rolls.
I didn’t use a greenhouse so I had to be really diligent about keeping them moist in the harsh Hawaiian sun.